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Women’s and Men’s cross country teams make strides at the GRCC Raider Invite

Cross country race at Jackson College in Sept. 2020. (Courtesy of GRCC Athletics)

By Pierson VanGorp

The Grand Rapids Community College men’s and women’s cross country teams finished 13th and eighth respectively at the GRCC Raider Invite they hosted Saturday, Sept. 17. 

This was the sixth consecutive week the women’s team had participated in a meet and they were looking to improve, according to head coach Sharon Becker.

“When running a race with many, 29 teams and 200 runners, it is easy to forget our original race goals, what we can control and how well we finished,” Becker said. “The three things I focused on before the meet were distractions, uncontrollables, and comparisons.”

The women’s team used the pre-race speech as motivation and the team exceeded Coach Becker’s expectations. With GRCC placing eighth,many runners saw improvements compared to previous races. Sophomore Kaylee Scott led the Raiders with a time of 20:01 and placed 37th out of 200 runners. Breakout sophomore, Rose Meyer, had a phenomenal performance placing at 42nd with a time of 20:33. 

“I’m thrilled to be able to see Rose run strong in practices and at the races,” coach Becker said. “She is a positive asset and a blessing to our team.”

Switching gears, the men’s team saw sly improvements at the home meet as well. Three other community colleges challenged the Raiders; however, head coach Rob Hyde and the men’s team would not back down. 

The Raiders placed 13th out of 30 teams and finished fourth out of all the community colleges. Rising freshmen, Mason Kolhoff and Dan Kehoe, were the Raider’s top two runners at the meet. Kolhoff placed 27th with a time of 26:38 while Kenhoe finished 81st with a time of 28:27. 

“Overall, we are improving, which is what we want but we need to keep making strides forward,” head coach Rob Hyde said. “Having three other community college teams beat us on Saturday definitely gives us motivation to catch them.” 

For the men’s and women’s teams, their next race is at the Kirtland Firebird Invite in Grayling, Michigan. Both teams are building up momentum and are looking to have their best meet this Friday, Sept. 23. 

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